Thursday, December 18, 2008

Want To Publish a Paper, Review on Wiki First

My Dutch newspaper (NRC, Dec. 18, 2008) had a nice short article with very interesting content (- no link available, so I'll provide source link). The Journal RNA Biology is now requiring papers to be peer-reviewed twice. Once on Wikipedia. And once by the journal's own review panel. A summary of the paper must be submitted to Wikipedia first, before the paper is published in the journal.

I think this is good for the scientists wanting to publish an article. Who knows what kind of interesting corrections and extensions will be made to the central thought of their paper. And it's also good news for general public as well. Expert information (on RNA in this case) is published publicly and shared with us all.

It would be nice to see other journals open up as well!

I was also thinking this could or should be applied inside companies as well. In most companies employees write reports and they're submitted to an archive or document management system, after being formally approved by their manager. How often don't we run into incomplete, inaccurate information in these reports (that can't be changed after publishing)? If these reports would have been peer-reviewed lots of mistakes could have been eliminated. But, what do we do when we ask colleagues to peer review? We look for close and trusted colleagues (cf. a journal's own review panel). But who says they are the right person and most knowledgeable person to review the memo/report/etc.?

So, why not apply this same concept RNA Biology is applying to internal documents as well?

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